AUGUSTA — A portrait of the late Morton “Mort” Brody — who was chief justice of the Maine Superior Court from 1985 to 1989 and played a number of other roles in Kennebec County before his death in 2000 — was unveiled Thursday afternoon in a courtroom at Capital Judicial Center.

Judges and attorneys who worked with Brody over the years spoke at the unveiling, which was organized by the Maine Judicial Branch. Together, they described him as a consummate judge, lawyer, father, husband and Red Sox fan.

It is the first portrait that will hang in Courtroom 3 at Capital Judicial Center, the complex that opened in March 2015 in Augusta, and the unveiling served as both a testament to Brody’s legacy and a christening of that particular room.

“In our new courtrooms, we do not yet have a (portrait of a) trial judge hung,” remarked Chief Justice Leigh Saufley, of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. “It is really, really fitting that the first judge to go up on the wall (of this courtroom) is Judge Morton Brody.

Brody was a justice on the Maine Superior Court from 1980 to 1990, before then-Gov. John McKernan appointed him to be an associate justice on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. In 1991, then-President George H.W. Bush also nominated Brody to serve on the United States District Court in Maine.

Brody’s impact is obvious in Waterville, where he was a private practice attorney from 1961 until 1980 and later taught law classes at Colby College. The North Street Recreation Area includes a playground named after him, and the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Colby presents an annual award in his name.

A number of Brody’s family members attended the unveiling Thursday afternoon, including his children and grandchildren.

Several speakers pointed to the importance those family members played in his life.

Associate Justice Joseph Jabar described coaching a little league team with Brody, while Senior Associate Justice Donald Alexander recalled a time Brody recessed a legal proceeding because his son had entered the courtroom with the good news that he’d been accepted to Dartmouth College.

However, he was just as serious in the legal sphere as he was personable with his friends and family, several peoples said.

“Being a really good trial judge is an art form, and Mort Brody brought it every day,” Saufley said. “He loved juries. He loved trials. He loved the whole process of presiding and making sure justice really happened.”

In fact-checking her own remarks for the event, Saufley said, she stumbled on a discrepancy that seemed fitting of his legacy.

“The city of Auburn claims he was born there, and the city of Lewiston claims he was born there,” she said. “(Superior Court Justice Donald Marden) and I have discussed that and determined he was born on the bridge, which does not sound all that comfortable. But I think it speaks volumes that everyone claims him.”

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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